This document has been prepared by the members of the Freedom of Choice Committee.
From the data released by some Italian regions in 2018 it has been estimated that minors up to 16 years of age, wholly or in part, obligatory vaccinations in Italy would amount to more than 1 million and 200 thousand units, which would correspond to about 1 million and 750 thousand parents. The social impact of sanctions on this community, which is currently quite low, will worsen from September 2019.
The purpose of this document is an estimate of the number of Italian citizens who have failed to comply with the vaccination obligations established by Law 119 of 2017 ("Lorenzin Decree") in the age group concerned (0-16 years).
For the estimate, we used data communicated by the regions, where available, on the basis of which the data of the remaining regions was proportionate. The sources are mentioned in the text.
Renunciation to vaccinations
One million two hundred and sixty thousand minors between zero and sixteen in Italy would not be up to date with the calendar of compulsory vaccinations and, therefore, punishable or already sanctioned.
The source data were recorded in 2018 or at the end of 2017, months after the entry into force of the Lorenzin decree. Therefore, they already discount, in whole or in part, the increase in adhesions triggered by the introduction of the new sanctions (for example in Piedmont, according to the cited sources, the defaulters "were recovered at 43,8%", in Lombardy at 17,04%).
The result appears compatible with what is found in the literature. In GIAMBI (2018) hesitation and vaccine refusal in Italy in 2016 were practiced, before the introduction of the new obligation, by 16,1% of the sample of parents interviewed. 7
About 25% of defaulters would be minors in the 0-6 age group, excluded from school attendance if not in compliance with compulsory vaccinations. The introduction of obligations also for minors in the 7-16 age group, as proposed by a bill currently under discussion, would lead to a potential increase in early school leaving by 300%, equal to about 950 thousand more units.8
On average, in Italy, approximately 1,4 parents correspond to each minor. This allows to estimate the number of parents subject to financial penalties and to the economic, psychological and social problems of school exclusions, both today (0-6 years) and in a possible future (0-16 years).
A survey conducted in May 2019 showed that only 1,6% of renitent families have so far been affected by the economic sanctions provided for by the Lorenzin decree, while less than a quarter have withdrawn their children from kindergartens, by choice or by force. 9 From this it is concluded that the penalties and school suspension have not yet produced the expected social impact, if not in part. Except for new rules, their effects will be produced starting from the new school year (2019-2020).
- Lombardy Region, "Renitance to compulsory vaccinations: an estimate", Press release, 16 February 2018 (https://bit.ly/2welLmn).
- Ansa, "Vaccines, 95% coverage in Piedmont", 13 March 2018 (https://bit.ly/2wem0hh).
- Veneto Region, "Healthcare, vaccination obligation: monitoring data on defaulters in Veneto as of 3 May 2018", Press release n. 586 of May 8, 2018 (https://bit.ly/2EwgoDq).
- "Vaccines, 30 'defaulters' in Liguria: the deadline for school expires March 10", in primocanale.it, February 3, 2018 (https://bit.ly/2M8ZPDT).
- "Vaccinations, more than 3.500 children recovered in the last month, the defaults remain 116.700", in Toscana Notizie (https://bit.ly/2wjG81A).
- Arithmetic mean (weighted average: 12,69%).
- Giambi et al., "Parental vaccine hesitancy in Italy - Results from a national survey", in Vaccine, 36 (2018) 779-787.
- Ddl no. 770 («Vaccination prevention»), art. 5, paragraph 4 ("extraordinary intervention plans ... can a) subordinate, on a temporary basis, on a national, regional or local basis, in relation to the data contained in the national vaccination registry, the frequency of educational institutions of the national system of education, private non-equal schools, educational services for children and regional vocational training centers upon the administration of one or more vaccinations ").
- Freedom of choice Committee, "The resistance to vaccinations: the results of a survey (Rev. IP6)", June 2019.